If one ever needed to remember just why it is such an amazing thing to be alive in this world, I invite them to come to Bolivia and take in the Andes, the people and the culture.
It is the evening of our fourth day and the light is spectacular -- that light that just envelops your soul. Llama are grazing across the laguna and a flock of sheep just ran by in a tidy bunch. The animals belong to the community; a random (or maybe not so random) scattering of three or four houses. Because nothing grows at this altitude, aside from Andean grasses, plants and some flowers, the community has a garden at around 4,100 to grow their vegetables.
Our two arriero friends, Hugo and Narcisio, left this evening to head home, roughly a four hour ride. (Two more lovely people I have had the opportunity to meet.) They both came in the cook tent (we were having tea) to say goodbye and we exchanged handshakes and hugs. Warm people.
Victoria, Felix's wife, joined us this evening and will be hanging out for the next three days. Victoria was traditionally dressed in her full skirt and layering of tops and a wrap. Women in the country dress traditionally; they do not wear pants. We all ate supper together (yummy, as usual) and there was much conversation in Aymara as well as in Spanish. Victoria was very quiet but did have a good laugh at the end when we told her the two Aymara words we knew: "hello" and "crucillo" which together, give you "Hello monkey."